Top tourism leaders to speak at inaugural Travel and Tourism Summit

by Mariette du Toit-Helmbold on 11.10.2013

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“The Summit” is a joint initiative of the Tourism Business Council of South Africa (TBCSA), its affiliate associations and Gauteng Tourism, sponsored by South African Tourism.

Acknowledging the significant contribution of Tourism to the South African economy, the 2013 South African Travel and Tourism Summit ( THE SUMMIT) is intended to create the definitive National Dialogue platform to facilitate conversations and agree outcomes regarding issues and opportunities of National importance and significance that are facing the sector.

The City Sightseeing Bus now operates in Johannesburg and is an excellent way to experience the city.

Tourism is a sector that really matters.

It matters because its direct contribution to gross domestic product had already increased to R84billion in 2011. It matters because it is a viable employment sector for many people with varied skill levels. It matters because it is a vehicle for positive change and upliftment of communities. It matters because it unites and connects people. Read more about the business of tourism here.

Tourism matters because it is a viable employment sector for many people with varied skill levels.

TBCSA CEO Mmatšatši Ramawela explained that the aim of the conference is to provide a national platform for top-level dialogue, decision making and action planning across the entire travel and tourism value chain.

Based on the theme “The Value of the Traveller”, the Summit is expected to provide delegates with valuable insights on developments in the local and international tourism landscape and provide a platform for them to influence the outcomes and action plans for the sector.

Headlining the conference will be the former CEO of Destination Australia, Chris Buckingham, as well as the Chief Marketing Officer for Destination Melbourne, Kelly Monger, who will give global perspective on industry developments and engage delegates on the Melbourne model as a potential blueprint for the marketing and management of “City Regions” as tourism economies and destinations.

Cities play a prominent role as the super brands of destination marketing and the scope of city tourism will only increase.

We are in the age of the urban tourist. With more than half of the world’s population living in cities - and numbers being expected to reach almost five billion by 2030. Cities play a prominent role as the super brands of destination marketing and the scope of city tourism will only increase. 

This was the clear message sounded at the United Nation’s World Tourism Organisation’s City Tourism Summit, which I attended in Moscow recently. Read more about my key insights on city tourism here.

Today up to 80% of all international tourists travel to a city first, and then to its surrounds. Over 30% of all global visitor revenue is expended in the top 150 visited cities and, taking tourism as a whole, over 70% of tourism spend occurs in urban areas. For most people, to escape, means to explore different and new cultures and for them, cities are the epicentres of modern living.

Top local and international speakers

The industry will be addressed by the Deputy Minister of Tourism in South Africa, Ms. Tokozile Xasa, who will give the keynote address based on the conference theme. Other notable speakers include Monwabisi Kalawe, CEO of SA Airways, Thulani Nzima, CEO of SA Tourism, Luke McKend, CEO of Google SA and Dion Chang, CEO of Fluxtrends.

“Looking at the conference programme and caliber of speakers we have lined-up, there is no doubt in my mind that this is a Summit not to be missed, says Gauteng Tourism CEO, Dawn Robertson. “We want to encourage all our industry stakeholders, professionals, commentators and officials from all spheres of government to make sure that they register and confirm their attendance”.

The Summit is hosted in Gauteng, Africa's business hub, at the The Maslow Hotel in Sandton, Johannesburg.  Johannesburg is the centre of many of the country's industries, such as the insurance, banking, information and communications technology, automotive, and mining industries.

The growing local film industry has taken hold in Gauteng and the region has a thriving fashion and creative sector.

Johannesburg is the centre of many of the country's industries with a vibrant and creative energy. 

The conference registration fee is R1500.00 per delegate. You can download the conference programme here and register on


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